20 October 2021

Tilly's Tips For Perfect Buttons

Here at Tilly and the Buttons, we love to encourage and support newbie sewists and something we hear again and again is that some of you out there avoid certain sewing projects because of buttons and the fear of sewing buttonholes. Well, we're here to change your mind and to show you that buttons don't need to be intimidating and can actually be rather satisfying to sew - trust us!

So please enjoy this round-up of Tilly's tips for perfect buttons, every time you sew...

Let's go right to the start, shall we? So you've got your lovely sewing project in front of you and you've reached the point where you need to start sewing your buttonholes. Eeek! 

Before you start stitching, double and triple-check the placement of the buttonholes because believe us - you don't want to unpick buttonhole stitching (unfortunately speaking from experience...)! These will be clearly marked by lines on your paper pattern, usually down the centre front pattern piece, and can be transferred onto your fabric with chalk or a washable pen. If you need a refresher, check out Tilly's recommended marking and cutting tools HERE.

With your clearly marked buttonholes, let's get to the main event, stitching the buttonholes...

13 October 2021

Sewing For The Season - Autumn!

Want some drool-worthy inspiration for sewing all the cosy, autumnal things? Sure you do! It’s Abi here (you may have seen my spring and summer sewing inspiration posts and vlogs this year too), I feel like I spend the majority of my year thinking "oh that would be perfect for autumn" - it's just such a satisfying time of year to sew and there always feels like there's a buzz online for sewing some snuggly new makes!

So here I am with my own autumn sewing plans and loooads for inspiration from the high street along with dreamy fabric picks. Grab a cuppa and enjoy this little lot...


Rock 'n' roll neck

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Roll neck tops are back in a big way. From fitted styles perfect for layering or slouchy styles ideal for snuggling up in. Whatever your roll neck preference we've got multiple styles to suit you! Go relaxed and retro with our classic Coco top, modern and oversized with Nora or try our fan-favourite Freya (from Tilly's book Stretch). 

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One of the perks of sewing your own clothes is that the possibilities are endless. Take Nora for example, you can use snuggly cable knit jersey fabric or even fleece-backed knits for something toasty (or check out this STUNNING Nora top made with teddy fabric!), or use something lightweight to layer her up for all your Autumn outfits. 

6 October 2021

Scrap Busting Iris - Join our Instagram Challenge!

We knew sewing knickers was going to be a great scrap busting sewing project. Just seeing the shapes of the Iris knickers pattern pieces in all the various styles you can whip up, you just know they're going to fit in somewhere when you cut out your next jersey top!


Inspired by Tilly's own scrap busting Iris knickers made using leftover fabric from her Tabitha T-shirt dress, we're celebrating matching our knickers to our outerwear with an October Instagram challenge encouraging you to get creative with your fabric leftovers and sew yourself some matching undies!

29 September 2021

How To Tie The Perfect Bow

The perfect finishing touch for your lingerie sewing projects and more, knowing how to tie the perfect bow by hand is a satisfying crafty skill and will finish off your Iris knickers beautifully.

Taken from our 'Learn to Sew Knickers' online workshop, in this extract Hannah from Evie La Lùve (our Iris collaborator and workshop teacher) will take you through how to hand-tie a gorgeous satin ribbon bow and how to attach it to your Iris knickers. Watch how in the video below, or alternatively follow our step-by-step instructions...


22 September 2021

Designing Combos & Choosing Supplies for Dreamy Iris Undies!

We understand that sewing lingerie can seem intimidating, especially when it comes to shopping for supplies like elastic and lace that you might not have encountered in your dressmaking sewing projects. But we promise you that sewing the Iris knickers isn't as scary as it can first seem and we're confident you'll find that too...

In this blog post, we'll be sharing all the details on our exciting knicker supply store, along with lots of inspiration and ideas for the kinds of combinations you can create with your sewing pattern, plus a peek at the hacks demonstrated in our online workshop

17 September 2021

Fitting The Iris Knickers

Fitting the Iris Knickers - Tilly and the Buttons

Making the Iris knickers and need a little extra help getting the fit just right? Well, you've come to the right place! This post will cover the most common fitting adjustments you might want to consider for your Iris undies. 

The Iris knickers, designed in collaboration with Hannah from Evie la Lùve, are a simple and versatile knickers pattern with a choice of low, mid and high leg openings and waistlines that you can mix and match to create your fave style of undies. This means there are 36 possible combinations of how to sew them. With so many to sew we best get cracking!

Fitting the Iris Knickers - Tilly and the Buttons

The wonderful thing about sewing is that we can alter our makes to fit the unique proportions of our bodies, getting a much better fit than anything we can buy on the high street. We all have preferences as to how our clothes fit - especially our undies! We sometimes suggest that you make a 'toile' aka a practice garment when making a new pattern to test the fit. As the Iris knickers are made from forgiving jersey and are quick and simple to make, you might want to treat the first pair you make as a practice fit pair. If they fit perfectly then that's great! If they need a couple of tweaks then you can make some small adjustments for your next pair with one or some of the following adjustments :)

In this post we're going to cover:

  • Choosing your size 
  • Lengthening or shortening pattern pieces
  • How to combine pattern sizes 
  • Adjusting the crotch width
Fitting the Iris Knickers - Tilly and the Buttons

15 September 2021

TATB x Evie la Lùve Iris Knickers & New Online Workshop!

It's been SEW hard to keep quiet about this one, and we can't believe it's finally here! So let us shout it from the rooftops... It's our pleasure to introduce our first underwear sewing pattern, the Iris knickers, along with a brand new online workshop. The Iris knickers have been created in collaboration with our favourite lingerie designer Evie la Lùve, and the workshop is taught by the lovely Hannah herself! The Iris knickers are available in TWO size bands: UK 6-24 and UK 16-34 - yay!

Learn to sew your own undies with this multi-style knickers pattern and helpful online workshop. A pleasure to sew, and a perfect scrap busting project, you can whip them up in no time at all on a regular sewing machine. Once you’ve made your first pair, you’ll be hooked (just ask any one of us Buttons)!

Let's meet Hannah, the lovely lady behind our new fave pattern... 

"I began sewing clothing and lingerie in 2008 and went on to study fashion at university, to take my passion for design and sewing to the next level. For as long as I can remember I’ve loved lingerie, and one day the penny dropped that I could combine my passion for design and sewing, with my infatuation for lingerie, and haven’t looked back.

I love sewing clothing, but sewing lingerie is my absolute favourite thing to sew. You can create something beautiful in a short period of time, using small amounts of beautiful fabrics and laces, what’s not to love!

Sewing lingerie has given me so much joy for many years and I love to share that with other people. My business is all about giving anyone who wants to learn, the skills and the patterns to create their own beautiful lingerie. I offer patterns with loads of variations, from simple silhouettes to patterns with cut-outs, lacy and strappy details, making them approachable for beginner sewers and more experienced sewers alike.

- Hannah Bullivant - Evie la Lùve

Excited to learn all about Iris and our brand new workshop? Of course you are! Grab a cuppa and let's go...

8 September 2021

Sewing School is in Session!

As we head into a new month and a new season, learning a crafty new hobby or elevating your skills is always a good idea! So if you want to learn to sew this month or dust off that old machine, now is a perfect time.

Tilly regularly shares her tips and tricks for everything you need to know when it comes to sewing and has written some fab blog posts, from how to choose a sewing machine (a hot topic in our DMs!), to troubleshooting common sewing machine mistakes and what sewing patterns to start with.

It's always good to have a refresher and doesn't September always remind you of starting a new school term? Cracking on with new hobbies, having a much-needed clear-out or buying new stationery to set up a tidy workspace. It's the same for sewing! In this blog post, we've rounded up some of our most popular content to kick start your term for many happy sewing sessions to come... 

If you are finding yourself at the beginning of your sewing journey and are a little nervous about getting started, don't worry, there is a selection of posts that you will find very handy to set you on the right path.

1 September 2021

Team Buttons Try... Skye Pattern Hacks!

Skye hacks header

Pattern hackers assemble! We love a pattern hack here at Tilly and the Buttons and our Skye sundress sewing pattern has inspired a whole bunch of stylish hack ideas we've been bouncing off each other in the office. We had to try some for ourselves ASAP and even better if it means we can take our Skye makes through the seasons with us and not just save them for summer.

Team Buttons have been busy trying a few out since Skye launched in July, so not only are we sharing inspiration and ideas in this post, we'll show you our finished hacked Skyes too. Enjoy!

Skye is available in TWO size bands UK 6-24 / US 2-20 / EUR 34-52 or UK 16-34 / US 12-30 / EUR 44-62. Get your copy HERE and to learn more about the difference between our two size bands, check out this handy blog post

Being a simple pattern, Skye lends itself so well to hack ideas, there's a whopping 8 to try in our Skye hacks blog post. The easy-fitting empire waist bodice is gently shaped with pleats under the bust and has a neat bias binding finish on the inside. Choose from mini-, knee- or maxi-length hemlines for the floaty gathered skirt. And, of course, it has side seam pockets for your ice cream money!

Let's get into it...

Real tie shoulders

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Turning your Skye's faux-tie shoulder straps into real-time shoulder straps is likely the first hack that'll come to your mind when you see Skye. It was certainly ours! Abi tried out this hack and you don't even need to edit or retrace your pattern...

25 August 2021

Trendy Ruffle Hem Jaimie PJs Hack (+ video tutorial!)

Never without a need for new PJs, I'm no stranger to sewing loungewear-esque clothes, especially PJ bottoms and shorts. It's Abi here (the social media & content creating button *waves*) and with so many homemade pyjamas under my belt, it's time to get creative with them! 

If you're after the ultimate PJ pattern, look no further than our Jaimie Pyjama bottoms and shorts sewing pattern - it's a must-have. Not only a fabulous pattern for complete beginners, but Jaimie is also a great place to start pattern hacking! Whether that's adding your own in-seam pockets or trying out this ruffle hack, you'll be able to create your perfect PJs using Jaimie as your base. 

Jaimie is available in TWO size bands, UK 4-24 / US 0-20 / EUR 32-52 or UK 16-34 / US 12-30 / EUR 44-62. Get your copy HERE and come back to this post for ruffle hacking goodness!

Ruffle hem PJ bottoms have been popping up in RTW shops and have slowly been creeping into my future sewing hack plans, so my need for cute PJs that I don't mind answering the door in just became my top priority. And let's face it, PJs this trendy might even get a trip out the house too...maybe (plain white T, sandals, straw bag - I can see it!).

I'll be making 3/4 length Jaimie PJ bottoms in the video tutorial and the shorts in this blog post, but these steps will apply the same way to the shorts or longer PJs. To decide where I wanted my leg length, I measured from where the waistband of the PJs sit on me to halfway down my shin and made a rough judgement, knowing there would be an inch or so added to the length with the finished ruffles.

Let's make some PJs...

Sew your Jaimie PJs as normal, following the instruction booklet or by following our handy sew-along below. Up until the hemming of the legs (which is the last step). 

18 August 2021

HOT HOT HOT! Stock up in our Summer Sale ft. Team Buttons Picks!

Did someone say sale? It's time to treat you to some sizzling savings to celebrate the summertime with 20% off all our individual sewing patterns

We are taking 20% off all our individual printed and digital patterns until Sunday 22 August 2021 midnight BST. Use the code 'HOTHOTHOT' at the checkout now!


It's the perfect excuse to end your summer sewing in style! Depending on where you are in the world of course (it might just be heating up where you are!), you can whip up something to wear to soak up the last days of summer or get a head-start on your Autumn sewing plans...

Here are Team Buttons' top sale sewing pattern picks...

Abi's Pick

Get 20% off the Martha sewing pattern with the code 'HOTHOTHOT' 

Frances' Pick

Get 20% off the Jessa sewing pattern with the code 'HOTHOTHOT'

Kate's Pick

Get 20% off the Indigo Add-on sewing pattern with the code 'HOTHOTHOT'

Nikki's Pick

Get 20% off the Skye sewing pattern with the code 'HOTHOTHOT'

Tilly's Pick

Get 20% off the Lyra sewing pattern with the code 'HOTHOTHOT'

Head over to our shop, fill your trolley and enter the code HOTHOTHOT at the checkout and we will take 20% off your total! The offer is not valid on pattern bundles, books, sewing kits, dungaree buckles, gift vouchers or online workshops.

Happy shopping! xx

11 August 2021

How to Make an Eye Mask (free pattern!)

How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

There’s something so indulgent about slipping on an eye mask to help you get enough beauty sleep during light Summer nights… particularly when it matches your frillies! We couldn’t resist making an eye mask to go with the Fifi camisole and shorts set – and we’re sharing the pattern with you for free so you can make one too. Yay! This is a lovely speedy make, and a perfect project for using up leftover fabric. Ooh and it makes a great gift!

Check out our video sew-along below:

How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons
How to Make an Eye Mask - free pattern from Tilly and the Buttons

You will need:
  • Fifi eye mask pattern – download the free pattern [please note: if you can't download the pattern, it is because your server is denying access to the file for security reasons]
  • 15cm (1/5 yard) light- to medium-weight cotton for the main fabric (we used Cloud9 Escapade organic cotton voile courtesy of Hantex)
  • 15cm (1/5 yard) fabric for facing (we used a silky satin for the backing – choose something that will feel nice on your delicate eyelids)
  • Matching thread
  • 10cm (1/8 yards) wadding (we got ours courtesy of our studio neighbours Fancy Moon - thanks, Nancy!)
  • 38cm (15in) x 9-12mm (1/2in) wide elastic (a bit more or less if you think your head is particularly large or small!)
  • 1m (40in) string or cord
  • Sewing machine and basic tools
Open the pattern file in Adobe Reader (you can download it for free). Print the pattern on either A4 or Letter size paper, selecting “actual size” or “set scaling to 100%” or “turn off scaling” in your print settings. You can double check the pattern has printed at full scale by measuring the test square - it should be exactly 40mm x 40mm.

4 August 2021

It's Got Pockets! FREE Pocket Pattern Round up & Inspiration!

One of the BEST things about dressmaking is that you can choose to add details that matter to you. If you're anything like us, pockets are a must for everything we whip up! If you want to add (more!) pockets to a project, we have a few templates and step-by-step instructions you can use to increase your pocket count. 

Did we mention these pocket pattern pieces are FREE to download? Stick around until the end of the post for even more pocket possibilities that might just be waiting for you in your pattern stash already. Oh yes, it's pockets galore at TATB!

Hip Pockets

What's better than three pockets on your Mila dungarees? FIVE pockets on your Mila dungarees! This add-on Mila dungarees hip patch pockets would also work for any bottoms with a waistband, so take this pattern and run with it! It's such handy addition to your pattern hacking arsenal - you won't want to make trousers without them once you see how many bits & bobs you can stash in them... 


Download the Mila hip pocket pattern / Visit the tutorial & original blog post

28 July 2021

How To Sew Bias Binding (+ video tutorial!)

Bias binding is a lovely, tidy finish for your makes, concealing your raw edges and neatly tucking them away. It's useful for creating a neat finish on seams that aren’t attached to anything else and don’t have a facing. In this blog post and accompanying tutorial video, I’ll be showing you how to sew your bias binding to the neckline and armholes of our Skye sundress sewing pattern. But this tutorial will apply to any garment where you need to sew with single fold bias binding - woo!

For Skye you want to look for a 10-13mm (1/8-1/2in) wide single fold bias binding, approximately 20-26mm when folded flat, if you want to buy it pre-made, or a lightweight cotton if you want to make your own. If you have some lovely suitable fabric scraps calling your name, learn how to make your own bias binding with our step-by-step tutorial and video. 

With your bias binding ready, let's get into the tutorial...

Take the folded bias binding and start at the shoulder seam or underarm seam if you’re attaching bias binding to an armhole. Leave 10-20mm (3/8-3/4 inch) of binding overshooting the starting point.

Open one side of the folded bias binding and pin in place all the way around the raw edge of your garment, right sides together. If you have stay stitching make sure the binding fold is just past the stay stitching so it’s hidden when stitched.

21 July 2021

How to do bust adjustments on a pleated bodice

Tilly and the Buttons - bust adjustment on pleated bodice

Do you ever feel like your clothes would fit slightly better across the bust if there was a little bit more fabric, or conversely a little bit less fabric in that area? If this is something you agree with, then you might benefit from doing a bust adjustment to your bodice pattern pieces. 

You may already be familiar with doing adjustments on bust darted bodices, dartless bodices and even on pattern pieces for knit fabrics. But what about bodices with pleats at the waist?

After searching high and low on the internet and in my trusty fitting books, I couldn't find anything that covered how to do bust adjustments on a pleated bodice. As I wanted to do a full bust adjustment myself on my Skye sundress pattern, I knew that other people would want to do one too. So, I had a play around with the bodice, did some testing and came up with a system that has worked for me. I mean that's the best thing about sewing isn't it - you can make your own rules! 

How do I know if I need a bust adjustment? 

There's a technical and a not-so-technical answer here! The answer depends on your own unique shape and the fit of the garment - you may not need to do a bust adjustment to a loose top or dress, but might have to do one on something more fitted. If you find that things are generally either too tight or too loose in the bust area, then I'd recommend making a quick toile of the bodice, or wearable toile of the whole garment to test the fit around the bust and take it from there. I'm going to briefly cover how you would work out how much to add or subtract from your bust in the adjustment, but do remember this is just a rough framework, and you might not need to do it at all. 

Measure your high bust (your upper chest, just under your armpits). If you're making a pattern in our sizes UK 6-24 size band, add 5cm (2in). If you're making a pattern in our sizes 16-34 size band, add 10cm (4in). Choose the pattern size with that bust measurement – this is the size you’ll do your bust adjustment on.

Now measure your full bust (fullest part, around the nipples) and compare it to the bust measurement on the pattern size you just selected. 

If your full bust is 5cm (2in) smaller than the pattern, you’ll be subtracting 5cm (2in) from the pattern; if it’s 7.5cm (3in) bigger, you’ll be adding 7.5cm (3in) and so on. If you need to make the bust bigger, you'll need to do a full bust adjustment (FBA) and if you need to make it smaller, you'll need to do a small bust adjustment (SBA). 

Since the front bodice pattern represents one half of the top, as the fabric is cut on the fold - or one boob - you'll be adding or subtracting half of that difference. So, if you want to do a 5cm (2in) full bust adjustment, you'll need to add 2.5cm (1in) in total to the pattern piece. We're going to add this fullness, or subtract it inside the pleats, you'll need to divide the number of you wish to add to or subtract from one half of the bodice between the number of pleats you'll be adjusting - don't worry if this sounds a bit complicated, there is more info below!

14 July 2021

Make Your Own Bias Binding

 How to make your own bias binding - a cute detail to add to your homemade clothes - Tilly and the Buttons

Want to add a pretty detail to your homemade clothes?

Bias binding is useful for creating a neat finish on seams that aren’t attached to anything else and don’t have a facing. The bias cut will allow the binding to stretch slightly, which is handy for getting around curves such as armholes and necklines.

For example, the armholes below the cap sleeve on our Etta dress sewing pattern, the back, underarms and straps of our FiFi camisole and the armholes and neckline of our new Skye sundress (which I’ll be sewing in the video tutorial below).

You can buy ready-made bias binding relatively easily. But it’s good to know how to make it yourself so you can make it in a print, colour and width of your choice. Homemade binding is one of those details that can make your handmade clothes truly special. It's also a great fabric stash buster!

You'll need a bias binding maker for the method shown in this blog post. But a bias binding maker isn’t an essential tool, as in the video tutorial below I’ll also show you how to make bias binding without one, just using your iron instead - yay!

Here's how to make it...

How to make your own bias binding - a cute detail to add to your homemade clothes - Tilly and the Buttons

You’ll need a large piece of fabric – a light- to medium-weight woven cotton will be fine. I'm using a Liberty print Tana cotton lawn. You'll also need a bias binding maker for the method I'm going to show you. You can get these handy tools in different sizes – I’m using a 12mm (1/2in) one (this is an affiliate link), which will make single fold bias binding that is 12mm (1/2in) wide once finished. This size is perfect for binding the armholes on the Etta dress.

If you want to make double fold bias binding, for example to bind a neckline edge where you want the binding to be visible on the outside as well as the inside of a garment, you'll press the single fold binding in half after it comes out of the maker. So you’ll end up with 6mm (1/4in) wide binding with a 12mm (1/2in) maker.

How to make your own bias binding - a cute detail to add to your homemade clothes - Tilly and the Buttons

12 July 2021

Fitting the Skye Sundress

Making the lovely Skye sundress and want a few hints and tips on fitting? Well then, this post is for you! Skye is one of our sewing patterns available in TWO size bands - either in sizes UK 6-24 or UK 16-34which has a whole new size chart, going up to a 152.5cm (60in) bust, 134.5cm (53in) waist and 155cm (61in) hip, with different proportions to get the best fit. 

Skye is perfect for stitching newbies as it’s easy to sew and fit – yay! This post will cover the most common fitting adjustments you might want to consider for your Skye dress. However, don’t feel like you need to do them all, or even any at all!

Skye has an easy-fitting empire waist bodice, which is gently shaped with bust pleats, and the neckline and armholes are finished on the inside with bias binding. The neckline has a gorgeous, slightly square scoop shape, and is designed to cover a bra, with a flowy, gathered skirt with mini-, knee- and maxi-hem lengths to choose from. Of course, there are deep in-seam pockets too!

We sometimes recommend that you make a "toile" (or "muslin") - a practice garment in cheap or spare fabric in a similar weight to the fabric you're going to use for the final garment to test the fit - however, it's not strictly necessary here. If you're unsure about your sizing and have some expensive fabric lined up to make the dress in, you could make a quick toile of the bodice to check the fit, leaving off the skirt. However, if you don't feel overly precious about your fabric, then go for it!

In this post we're going to cover: 

  • Choosing your size
  • Lengthening or shortening pattern pieces 
  • How to combine pattern sizes 
  • How to do wide and narrow shoulder adjustments